California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued the owners of two care homes and a child day care facility in the Bay Area for human trafficking, labor abuse, rape, and other criminal activities.
The defendants identified as Gerlen, Noel, Joshua, and Carlina Gamos own and operate Rainbow Bright, an adult residential and child care company. They committed the crimes while operating their facilities in Daly City, Pacifica, and South San Francisco.
While serving arrest warrants, authorities sequestered 14 illegal assault weapons including three “ghost guns” without serial numbers from the defendants.
In the lawsuit, the attorney general described the modus operandi of the defendants, who are facing 59 counts of criminal charges.
Becerra says defendants exploited vulnerable Filipinos
The Gamos family targeted vulnerable members of the Filipino community for labor exploitation. Most of their victims were new immigrants to the United States, according to Becerra.
He alleged that Carlina, Joshua, and Noel placed job advertisements in a Filipino newspaper within San Mateo County. During the interview with applicants, they “routinely asked for their immigration status.” They took the passports of some newly hired employees who did not have status in the country. They falsely promised to fix the employees’ immigration status with an immigration attorney.
The defendants refused to return the passports of the employees despite their repeated demands. Noel only gave it back to them upon resignation or termination of their employment.
Additionally, Becerra alleged that the defendants required new employees to work as a live-in caregiver at their care homes/day care facility. They forced the employees to work almost 24 hours a day, sleep on the floor and garages of their facilities. The workers’ salary range was $1,000 to $1,200 a month.
Furthermore, the attorney general accused the defendants of regularly threatening the workers to prevent them from leaving their miserable situation.
During a press conference, Becerra said, “No worker in the United States should live in fear or be subjected to violence, abuse or exploitation at the hands of their employer. The charges against the Gamos family members are despicable. We must not turn a blind eye to abusive labor practices.” He added that one of the defendants is facing three counts of rape charges.
The attorney general went on to say, “Rainbow Bright was cheating. Not just the workers of their pay, not just the workers of their dignity. But you and me as taxpayers.”
Becerra encouraged workers to report abusive labor practices. He promised that his office will investigate and prosecute abusers.